South Esk plan needs overhaul: commission

THE plan for Tasmania's longest river should be substantially rewritten in parts, the Tasmanian Planning Commission says. 

The commission found there was a widespread perception of ``an imbalance in the focus'' of the 2009 draft South Esk River Catchment Water Management Plan, which had not been addressed.

The commission made nine recommendations to Primary Industries and Water Minister Bryan Green about the plan.

The South Esk has become an important tourist attraction for the state and is among the top three Tasmanian rivers visited by anglers thanks to the lack of large dams.

Recreational fishers along with the tourism industry have said the plan was too heavily weighted in favour of irrigators.

These groups and Hydro Tasmania have signalled  concerns about water access rules, which declare how much water must be flowing in the South Esk  before irrigators have to stop taking it. 

The commission recommended the final plan be redrafted  to include ``strong evidence'' supporting claims that the thresholds were environmentally sound. 

It also recommended climate change issues be better addressed in the plan which is now with Mr Green. 

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